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General description and estimated cost for various court surface repair options.
11-18-10


In response to the client’s question regarding crack repair, there are several options available for addressing cracking of tennis courts, from filling with acrylic to total replacement of the tennis court pavement. Each option available has it respective effectiveness and related costs.


Acrylic Crack Repair

The least expensive option is to fill cracks with commonly used acrylic crack filler material. The process includes the following:

1. Clean all loose foreign material out of the crack. It is a good idea to scrape the entire crack depth with a sharp device to remove vegetation, dirt and other material that may be caked in the crack or stuck to the sidewalls of the existing crack.
2. With compressed air thoroughly blow all debris out of the crack.
3. Completely fill the crack with acrylic crack filling material with a broad knife or blade.
4. Resurface the court with acrylic resurfacer and acrylic color coatings.

This option is considered cosmetic with the cracks typically reappearing soon after the work is completed. In fact, tennis court contractors do not warrant this repair method and actually state in their proposals that the cracks will reappear.

Estimated Cost - $6,500/court


Manufactured Crack Repair Systems

A few manufactured crack repair systems are available to address structural cracking on tennis courts. The systems consist of a fabric material that is adhered to the court surface on both sides of the structural crack which acts as a bridge to prevent the cracks from reflecting up though the acrylic surfacing. Each crack repair manufacturer has their own specifications for how to repair the cracks prior to the installation of their product.

These crack repair systems have limited success and generally carry a warranty of about 5 years, though some installations have lasted longer.

Estimated Cost - $6,500/court plus $20/linear foot of crack repair



Slip Sheet Overlay System

The slip sheet overlay system is a crack repair option that consists of the installation of a stone layer and new asphalt paving over an existing asphalt surface without removing the existing surface. The slip sheet system is installed to bridge over the existing court surface cracking and not allow the existing cracks from reflecting up through the new stone layer. This process would include the following:

a. Remove the existing fencing system.
b. Clean and seal all existing cracks with the tennis court surface with a crack filler material.
c. Remove existing net post foundations and center strap anchors and reconstruct at the proper locations and elevations.
d. Install a variable depth (2-4 inches) of clean stone to raise the finished tennis court surface and establish the proper tennis court slope. The final tennis court surface should slope 1? vertical per 10’ horizontal from end to end or side to side.
e. Install 3? asphalt pavement, consisting of 2? intermediate course and 1? leveling course.
f. Re-install the fencing system at the new pavement surface elevations.
g. Apply acrylic sports surfacing.
h. Regrade lawn areas around courts to intercept any storm water before it reaches the tennis court area. Rebuild the tennis court walkways to meet the elevation of the new tennis court surface.

The slip sheet overlay option is typically a longer term fix for the court cracking, and can last 12-15 years, if properly constructed.

Estimated Cost - $28,000-35,000/court


Court Reparing

Court repaving would consist of either the removal of the existing asphalt pavement or milling of the existing asphalt, and the installation of a new asphalt surface. The repaving may or may not be set at a higher elevation, depending on whether the asphalt is removed or milled. This process would include the following:

a. Remove the existing fencing system.
b. Mill the existing asphalt to be used as part of the new pavement subbase, or remove the existing asphalt and dispose of properly. We typically recommend milling and reusing the asphalt in that it can improve the tennis court paving structure at a relative low cost, as long as the asphalt does not contain impurities that may impact the longevity of the new asphalt surface.
c. Remove existing net post foundations and center strap anchors and reconstruct at the proper locations and elevations.

d. The milled asphalt can be stockpiled on site to enable repairs to the subgrade, if necessary, and re-spread with the existing stone base material that should be located under the asphalt millings. The final tennis court surface should slope 1? vertical per 10’ horizontal from end to end or side to side.
e. Install a 2 inch compacted layer of clean stone on top of the milled asphalt to raise the finished tennis court surface and establish a clean layer on which to install the new asphalt surface.
f. Install 3? asphalt pavement, consisting of 2? intermediate course and 1? leveling course.
g. Re-install the fencing system at the new pavement surface elevations.
h. Apply acrylic sports surfacing.
i. Regrade lawn areas around courts to intercept any storm water before it reaches the tennis court area. Rebuild the tennis court walkways to meet the elevation of the new tennis court surface.

The court repaving option is typically a longer term fix for the court cracking, and can last 12-15 years, if properly constructed.

Estimated Cost - $45,000-55,000/court


Post Tension Concrete Slabs

A post tension slab can be constructed over the existing asphalt tennis courts which is probably the best (although probably the most expensive) option for addressing long term longevity of the tennis court structure. This process consists of the installation of a 2 inch thick layer of sand over the existing tennis court paving, the placement of one or two layers of a polyethylene fabric over the sand, and then the construction of a 4-5 inch thick post tension slab. The slab is built with several cables spaced at specific horizontal intervals depending on various design variables. The cables are stressed after the concrete placement to keep the slab in permanent compression, thereby not allowing cracks to open up within the slab.

The post tension concrete slab option carries the longest projected life for the court, and can over 30 years, if properly constructed.

Estimated Cost - $90,000-110,000/court


Please keep in mind that many structural cracks that form in asphalt paving can be tied to poor drainage on and around the tennis court area. With any repair method selected we strongly recommend that the project include drainage improvements to intercept and dispose of water before it reaches the tennis court base stone and subgrade.
 
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